fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: BARCLAYS BANK <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2022 11:35:30 -0700
BARCLAYS INVESTMENT BANK PLC.
Southgate House, Osborne Estate,
Osborne Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Tel: +234 802 681 2358
Tel: +234 818 563 4355
Ref: Payment of Â£7,500,000.00 GBP Via ATM Card.
PAYMENT OF Â£7,500,000.00 POUNDS VIA ATM MASTER CARD.
This is to let you know that we have received an instruction from the
United Nations by orders of the Ministry of Finance, Nigeria to release
your Approved payment of Â£7,500,000.00 Pounds via ATM MASTER CARD which you
will use to withdraw your Â£7,500,000.00 Pounds from any ATM Machine in any
part of the world.
Right now we have made a preparation of your payment through our swift card
payment center, through the instruction from the senate committee, here in
Nigeria. This ATM card will be delivered to you via our accredited Courier
Service at your designated address. And you will use the Card to withdraw
your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world. If you like to
receive this Fund, please get back to us with the required information
Copy Of Your Identification:
This is your ATM MASTER CARD Number; 4929 4012 3456 7008. The amount
upgraded in the ATM CARD is Â£7,500,000.00 Pounds. Right now, Invitation has
been extended to you to visit BARCLAYS BANK. Alternatively, if you are
unable to visit Barclays Bank for collection of your ATM CARD and PIN
NUMBER, you must therefore apply for the ATM MASTER CARD and PIN NUMBER to
be sent to you via our diplomatic courier service at your own expense by
making the following payments:
1) Shipment fee of the ATM MASTER CARD to your address, amounting to US$170
and Insurance Coverage of the ATM MASTER CARD amounting to US$193. Both
payments totaling the sum of US$363.00 must be paid to enable us ship the
ATM MASTER CARD to your address.
This ATM MASTER CARD must be insured so that it can get to you without any
problem or diversion. if you cannot come to Barclays Bank for collection of
your ATM MASTER CARD, you must kindly send the US$363.00. So get back to
this office with the required information and the information to make the
payment will get to you as soon as we confirm the above information for the
As soon as the fee is received, we shall immediately dispatch the ATM
MASTER CARD to you and it will take only 3 working days to arrive to your
address to enable you start withdrawing funds on that same day from any ATM
machine nearest to you. The ATM Card is enclosed with a manual hand book
that will guide you on how to use the card and also your secret pin number.
Note : The ATM CARD has been programmed with maximum withdrawal of (USD
4,999) per day and it is valid for four (4) years.
Yours In Service.
Mr. Andrew Smith,
Barclays Bank PLC.